Print Story Coincidence
Is it just me or does this happen to you, too? You're at home preparing to go out somewhere. You see some item -- a business card, a USB key, a packet of tissues -- something you could pick up but decide for good reason not to, only to find yourself needing exactly that thing a few hours later?

Inside: my recipe for French Onion Soup, the last poll winner.

It happens to me all the time, and every time it's happened I've been pissed off. Except once. But for the lack of a bus pass I wouldn't be where I am right now, in a cold room in Liverpool with a warm body next to mine.

When RIG took me away with her from the Indian restaurant we had to go to my place to pick up my public transport pass. I'd seen it as I was getting ready to go out but since the restaurant is just around the corner from me and I wasn't going out anywhere afterwards, I figured, "Why bother?" and left it on the counter.

RIG had decided to take me home and that would've led to more or less the same thing the night ended up being, except that at some point she would've sent me home and gotten some sleep. Instead she stayed at my place and spent the night. It was what she realised on waking up with me that led to... more.

She'd spent some time explaining to me how she sleeps poorly with anyone else, that she needs the entire bed, and that at some point in the night she'd probably throw me out of my own bed. What actually happened is that we curled up tightly and didn't move the entire night. And it happened again. And again.

If I'd had my damned bus pass that night with me I'd be elsewhere right now. Instead, as we were forced to drink some champagne with the rest of her immediate family, I reflected on the fact that, for the first time I can ever remember, I'm seriously looking forward to this year. I'm getting married in two months and our baby should be robbing us both of any sleep before summer is out.

I'm still pissed off that I left the 2 other USB sticks at home before leaving. Happy New Year, people.


As promised, a recipe. The French Onion Soup won out so here's mine:

  • 200g (7 oz) butter
  • 8 large sweet onions (e.g., Spanish or Vidalia, not generic yellow) very thinly sliced
  • 1c (25cl) port wine
  • ¼c (6cl)balsamic vinegar
  • 2 qt (2l) dark chicken/duck/goose/beef stock
  • 4 oz (110g) lardons/ thick slab bacon, cut into ½" cubes
  • 1 bouquet garni
Heat the butter in a large pot over low-medium heat until melted. Add the bacon and let it start to cook until the fat starts becoming translucent (butter should brown). Add onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and evenly browned. Make sure to scrape up bits that stick to the bottom of the pot and don't let it burn. Mix gently with long strokes so that the onion doesn't turn to mush.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the port and vinegar, scraping any left-over brown bits still sticking to the pot. Add the stock -- the more intense the better. Add the bouquet garni and bring to a light boil.

Reduce immediately to a simmer, season with salt and pepper and cook for an hour or so. Skim if necessary and remove the bouquet garn once finished. Season again if necessary.

To serve traditionally, fill oven-proof bowls with the soup almost to the top. Place a large crouton (sliced baguette toasted with olive oil) and cover with cheese -- ideally gruyere but mozzarella will do in a pinch -- so that you have a cap over the bowl. Place under a broiler until the cheese melts and starts to bubble/brown. Serve immediately.

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